New Seat Leon vs Vauxhall Astra
No longer is diesel the de facto option – both the Leon and Astra are available with efficient petrol engines, but which one is the best family hatchback?...
What are they like inside?
Both cars provide generous space for families. In each case, there’s very good head and leg room in the front, although the Leon offers more space around the shoulders. Both Seat and Vauxhall give you seat height and manual lumbar adjustment as standard, too.
In the back seats, head room is the same in both cars, but the Astra has more leg room which is significant when it comes to long-distance comfort for adults. There’s only a small difference between the cars’ rear-seats-up boot sizes, while their seats-down figures are identical. However, with the rear seats in place, the Leon’s boot is the longest and widest with a less pronounced lip and wider opening, although the Astra’s boot is slightly taller.
Drivers are also treated to good forwards visibility in both cars. That said, with no standard rear parking sensors or camera on either car, the Seat’s taller, squarer rear windows make reversing easier.
There’s not much to get excited about on the Leon’s dashboard. Its sea of grey plastic is pretty drab to look at, but at least it’s made from largely soft-touch and textured materials that feel solidly constructed. The Astra’s dash looks much more interesting, but touching it reveals some sharper edges and flimsier buttons.
In SE Technology trim, the Leon comes with the larger 8.0in infotainment touchscreen which is certainly one of the best in this class. Despite Seat doing away with the shortcut buttons found on the pre-facelift Leon, the infotainment system remains responsive and easy to navigate. It’s just a shame you have to pay extra to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
The Astra’s slightly smaller 7.0in touchscreen does get those features and physical shortcut buttons, as well as being similarly quick to respond. That said, its menus aren’t quite as logically laid out.